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Posted on: September 26, 2022

Community meeting announced for development of a plan to manage erosion at Ma‘alaea Bay Beach

An ongoing project to develop a Mā‘alaea Village Coastal Resilience and Erosion Management Plan will be discussed during a community meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Maui Ocean Center Dome. Members of the public may also participate virtually by registering for the Zoom link at: www.tinyurl.com/2p8dwbrn.

Initiated by the Mā‘alaea Village Association, the project seeks a management plan for coastal erosion at Mā‘alaea Bay Beach by exploring the feasibility of coastal resilience strategies, including erosion mitigation options and relocation of threatened structures. The project area includes an area from Mā‘alaea Harbor to Haycraft Park.

Beginning around Sept. 30, Honolulu-based contractors from Moffat & Nichol will conduct sand study work offshore of Mā‘alaea Bay Beach. It will supplement field work conducted last year. The follow-up sand study work will assess the quality of sand deposits in the nearshore area. During work, passers-by may see a small boat and crew working in nearshore waters off of Mā‘alaea.

To explore coastal resilience options, the plan will consider next steps and proactive options for protecting at-risk properties and infrastructure as well as preserving the coastal ecosystem and shoreline access.

High rates of historical shoreline erosion have been documented for Mā‘alaea Bay Beach. Condominium complexes along Hauoli Street built close to the shoreline prior to coastal management programs are threatened by coastal hazards. Existing shoreline hardening structures are deteriorating, and some are scheduled for removal or limited temporary repairs.

Coastal erosion in Hawaii is a continuing and worsening problem in the face of sea-level rise, with 85 percent of Maui shorelines experiencing long-term erosion.

This project is being facilitated by the County of Maui Department of Planning with technical assistance from the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program, funding support from the Maui County Council and partnership support from the Mā‘alaea Village Association.

For more information, contact Erin Derrington, County of Maui Senior Shoreline Planner, at erin.derrington@co.maui.hi.us, and Tara Owens, Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist, with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, at taram@hawaii.edu.

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